Training Myth 101

One of the common misconceptions in the fitness industry is that if you lift heavy weights without 100% biomechanically correct technique you will injure yourself.

This is one of the biggest myths in the industry.  First everyone’s anatomical structure is different so everyone’s technique should and will look different from that of the textbook.  Second when you lift a heavy weight you place stress on the body. This stress increases your development of lean muscle tissue, increases hormonal functions, stimulates metabolism as well as improving bone density.  A person who is able to lift 100kgs for two reps will develop better anatomical structures then a person who is able to lift 50kgs for multiple repetitions in a slow and controlled manner.  The key is ensuring that even though you may not look ‘perfect’ that you are perfect for you within the biomechanical range within which your body operates.

Recently there was a television show which pitted a powerlifter against a Parkour cross fit enthusiast in a series of body weight and weighted exercises.  Across every test that was conducted, the powerlifter out performed the cross fit enthusiast.  These tests included chin-ups, bench press, dips, push ups and ranged from weighted to unweighted for repetitions based exercises.

What does this tell us?

That the stronger you become and the heavier the weight that you lift you will also improve your functional strength.  There is no need to be able to squat 140kgs on a Segway or on a fitball or to do the latest fad exercise if you wish to improve.

Why do all elite athletes consistently perform the basics of their craft time and time again and are not carried away with the latest developments?  The answer is because the basics work.  FULL STOP.

So next time you are in the gym think, Am I doing the basics right first? Am I lifting as heavy as I am physically capable of or am I too worried about the form fairies who in most cases do not look like they have lifted a weight in their life?

The key to results is to be able to move as much weight as you can in a training session over the most number of repetitions while attempting to beat your best effort from the previous session.

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Tony Attridge is the Owner and CEO of The College of Health and Fitness (est. 2002). He has lectured at various Universities and Private Training Organisations for over 20 years in fitness, health, sport psychology and wellness. He has been involved in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a Level 3 Strength and Conditioning Coach, a Sport Psychologist, Sports Nutritionist and an Exercise Scientist.See Tony's personal website


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